Updated | Four merchant vessels diverted to assist 650 migrants out at sea

Italy receives two distress calls: one with 150 migrants on board one ship and a separate case involving three boats next to each other, carrying 500 in all

If confirmed, the sinking comes less than 48 hours following the death of hundreds of migrants. Photo: Ray Attard
If confirmed, the sinking comes less than 48 hours following the death of hundreds of migrants. Photo: Ray Attard

Four merchant vessels were diverted to assist 650 migrants out at sea, as unconfirmed reports point towards 20 dead aboard one of the ships.

Italy and Malta are investigating information from a migrant caller reporting one of the ships – carrying 300 – was sinking.

MaltaToday is informed that Italy, assisted by Malta, was working on two cases in the Libyan search and rescue area. One involves a boat with 150 migrants aboard and the second case is about three ships sailing next to each other.

One of the ships is carrying 300 persons on board; the other two are each carrying around 100 migrants.

Earlier, the International Organisation for Migration said it received a distress call and that 20 migrants were feared dead.

The news came in less than 48 hours after the sinking of the ship that took the lives of between 700 and 900 migrants.

Only 28 survived while 24 corpses were taken to Malta.

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